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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Funday Run Sun

My first taste of ultramarathon training lacked flavor. Rather, there was nothing on my plate as I opted against spending the majority of the last day of the weekend driving 45 minutes to run for three hours, drive 45 minutes back home and feel too fatigue to prepare my food for the work week. So, when considering these details as well as my longing to spend time with my wonderful wife, it was a no-brainer. My love and some shopping.

Our first stop of the day was Roadrunner Sports in Shrewsbury, mere yards south of Red Bank. I was hoping to check out some minimalist shoes in an attempt to improve my running form and potentially get quicker. While I've been eyeing the Vibrams for some time, I figured a minimalist sneaker might not as difficult of a transition. Almost immediately upon placing the New Balance Minimus on my feet, I was in love. There was cushioning about the midfoot, something important for my stride. The Vibram Bikila and the Saucony Hattori simply didn't provide enough cushion for me. Sure, the point of wearing these types of footwear is to improve one's stride so that large amounts of cushioning is not needed. But, I simply saw injuries in my future should I choose one of the later models.

We ended up staying out rather long and felt the fatigue of an entire week of work and exercise; we need an eighth day simply to relax! I wanted to try out my new kicks if only to not be an entire failure for the day and to work off some of the Chipotle burrito from lunch.

Just lacing up these sneakers made me feel like a 5-minute mile type of guy (I'll settle for 5:59 even). Even though I was tired, I had enough in the tank to tackle an easy 3 miles. The run went well as I could feel my midfoot strike much more prominently than in the thick heeled sneakers I've always worn. The forefoot had little padding as well and my toes work a little hard to propel me forward to my next step. I wasn't going terribly slow (same pace as yesterday's 5k splits); at some point, I felt pain behind my right knee and my achilles tendon was starting to beg for some help. Even with my inserts, I was getting a harder workout for a normal effort.

Thankfully, Roadrunner Sports has a 90-day return policy for its members. Should I get injured or simply not take to the minimal lifestyle, so be it. At least I tried. I just hope I can really give it a fair chance so as to improve my abilities as a runner.

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